One of the most famous speeches in history was the, “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Using this momentous occasion as a basis for teaching about history is a great idea that lends itself to many other activities,- including learning more about the writing process, engaging in digital learning, and even completing some meaningful crafts. Let students explore history by using this list of 20 impactful activities based on this famous speech.
1. I Have A Dream Mobile
Students can build a mobile that highlights the, “I Have a Dream Speech”. The small clouds they attach to the bottom of the mobile are perfect for exploring and writing about their own dreams.
Learn More: Teach Starter
2. I Have A Dream Card
This craft is a great way to involve younger students in this impactful speech. Trace their hands to form the cover of the card and let them write about their educational dreams or how they feel history has helped shape our world today.
Learn More: Parenting Chaos
3. Acrostic Poem
Add acrostic poems to your lesson plans to help students get creative in their writing. Let them dissect important words from the speech and create their own acrostic poems.
Learn More: We are Teachers
4. Creative Thinking and Self Connections
Use the speech to help students make connections and respond to the content of the speech. They can use this graphic organizer to state a dream for themselves, their school, and the world. Under each box, they can explain how to make these dreams come true.
Learn More: Literacy in Focus
5. Write Your Own Speech
Allow students the chance to write their own “I Have A Dream” speech. They can use this printable with premade sentence stems to fill in their own speech. They can use nonfiction books to help them spark ideas about their dreams and hopes!
Learn More: Classroom Freebies
6. Art Project
This beautiful art project is perfect for older kids. They can use watercolor paints and inspirational words to create a collaborative art piece. Students can choose words that relate to their own dreams and write them in different sections.
Learn More: Study All Knight
7. My Dream Activity
Encourage students to think about the positive impact that their dreams could have on the world. Use this handout to let students fill in specifics.
Learn More: 30 Handmade Days
8. Speech Craftivity
This is a great writing activity combined with a craft. Using craft paper, let students cut out their handprints and a heart. Then, they can write about the “I Have A Dream” speech. You could have them respond to a prompt or just detail their reaction to the speech.
Learn More: Just Wild About Teaching
9. I Have A Dream Collage
Provide magazines for students to find and cut out quotes, words, and pictures. Have them use the theme of the speech to find appropriate quotes and words. Then, let students use those pictures, words, and quotes to make a collage.
Learn More: Activities for Kids
10. I Have A Dream Banner
Students can work together to create this banner. Each student can cut out their own pennant and string them together to be hung in the classroom. Each student can write about their dreams.
Learn More: Activities for Kids
11. Handprint Craft
This is a great craft for younger students. Students can use different colored paints to represent diversity among themselves. You can write the quote or have students write it to tie this craft together.
Learn More: Mama Jenn
12. Your Change in Our World
This abstract painting of the world is a fun craft for consolidating learning after a lesson. Learners will use a coffee filter and watercolor paint to create the Earth. Then, have students cut out their handprints and place them in the center of the Earth. Ask students to write a response to how they would change the world.
Learn More: No Time for Flashcards
13. Watch the Recording
Include a source of multimedia in your lesson planning and show the video of the actual speech. Students will be able to watch Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech in action. You can pause and talk to them about each statement so they can better understand the meaning.
Learn More: LogistiKHD
14. Martin Luther King Jr Banner
This banner could be made by a small group of students. They can write about how Martin Luther King, Jr changed America, their own dreams, how they can be kind, and what they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Learn More: Playdough to Plato
15. Rainbow Craft
This colorful craft is a fun way to help students create something meaningful. Students can use the pre-made slips of paper with this craft to add color to their rainbow. The cloud will say, “I Have a Dream” and the strips of paper will list their dreams.
Learn More: Teacher’s Mag
16. Speech Inferences
This activity is perfect for strengthening inference skills. Cut apart these cards that print quotes from the speech. Students can match the quotes to the correct inference. Students must use what they know and what they are given to figure out the answers.
Learn More: First Grade Wow
17. Character Traits of the Writer
As students learn more about the “I Have a Dream” speech, they will also learn more about the man who wrote and delivered it. Use this handout to help students keep track of the character traits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Learn More: First Grade Wow
18. More About Martin Luther King
As students are learning more about the “I Have a Dream” speech, it’s also a good time to learn more about the man who wrote and delivered it. Let students make this flipbook about Martin Luther King, Jr. It will include information about his life and accomplishments.
Learn More: The Primary Parade
19. I Have A Dream Handprint Dream Catcher
This little dreamcatcher craft is made of paper handprints. Students can write a message on their hands and then place them together so that they overlap and interlock. This is a great craft to send a positive message about the “I Have a Dream” speech.
Learn More: Kids Creative Chaos
20. I Have A Dream Art Collage
This is a collaborative art project that incorporates the work of many students. Using abstract designs and many colors, students can create pieces to put together like you would when creating a quilt. Across the art, you can use bold, black letters to write out “I Have a Dream” and sketch Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Learn More: My Craftily Ever After